A FORMER council chief executive is set to be awarded an honorary degree for his public service.

George Garlick, who retired as chief executive of Durham County Council this year, is being made an honorary doctor of letters by Durham University at a ceremony on July 1.

Mr Garlick, who retired in January, previously worked as chief executive of Stockton Borough Council and was awarded an OBE for services to local government in 2007.

During his seven years at Durham the county attracted investments such as the Hitachi train factory and the lights festival Lumiere.

Also receiving an honorary degree is Sir Robert Burgess, a former Durham University sociology student, for his services to education.

Professor Burgess is former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Leicester and former Chair of the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).

Thousands of students are set to graduate the university next week in ceremonies held at Durham Cathedral between June 28 and July 1.

Opera singer Sir Thomas Allen, the university’s chancellor, will be handing out degrees.

It will be the university’s new vice-chancellor Professor Stuart Corbridge first congregations.

Professor Corbridge said: “I am immensely proud to be taking part in summer congregation as vice-chancellor for the first time, celebrating our students’ achievements in the wonderful setting of Durham Cathedral.

“Both of our honorary graduates have made outstanding contributions in their chosen fields and I am sure our students will draw inspiration from them.

“Durham’s graduates are among the most sought after in the world. They are taught by some of the world’s leading academics and they build their leadership and organisational skills through an excellent range of sporting, drama, music, volunteering and leadership activities.

“I congratulate all of our graduates and I am sure their time at Durham will help them to achieve great success as they embark upon a new phase in their lives.”